January 29, 2014
Marczak on Mexican Vigilante Groups
Despite these fears, other observers argue that it is unfair to compare Mexico today with the Colombia of the past, given the differences in the situations and governments.
“What you’re seeing in Mexico with the vigilantes is a response from citizens who are fed up with the drug violence in their towns,” Jason Marczak, deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center told Fox News Latino. “In the situation in Colombia, it was the paramilitaries’ reaction to a long-embedded guerrilla insurgency along with the drug traffickers.”
Up until the turn of the century, the Colombian government had major problems dealing with both the paramiitaries and guerrillas in the country’s rural regions. Large swaths of the countryside were controlled by these rogue groups, thanks in part to a weak state, collusion within the National Police Force with the paramilitaries and the rural nature of the fight.
Marczak said that given the mainly urban nature of the vigilante-drug cartel battle and the relative strength of the Mexican government under Enrique Peña Nieto, the country will not become mired in the same situation as Colombia.